I just returned home from a trip. I flew a big circle visiting four of my five kids; one in Southern California, one near the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his family, and two in Utah. All which have been cherished places that I once called “home.”
My husband and I drove past old addresses, took pictures, called on and dined with old friends, and one I even knocked on the door to ask to look around more closely and was so obliged we embraced when we drove away. Though the places were inhabited by other people, I still felt a piece of our lives connected in each place. Time did not feel so important and the memories flowed into sweet stories in my head.
The last place stayed was someone else’s home. I had not been inside it for over 28 years. The house sat high in the Wasatch mountains and from the front window displayed incredible white capped mountains across a massive valley. It was adorned with amazing collectibles from all around the world where the couple had traveled. The house was dated and old and felt like they hadn’t really loved the actual house, but loved being away from it, only to use it to display expensive and rare things found some place else. I felt a tangible sadness as I stayed inside. The house felt sad. There was no “people” life in it. There were little traces of family stuff, personalized artifacts like kid memories, or pictures of family times shared. It was lovely but it felt like an old deteriorating museum; gathering dust and hollow. Two days prior to our stay, the owner had remarried. We were there for the wedding. Most of the expensive collectibles would soon be boxed up or sold.
When we drove away, I looked back at the dark windows and wondered if anyone actually ever missed that old house.
I feel homesick for my kids when I return from vacation. Even though I miss them, I feel them inside when I enter the front door. Our 17 year old cat greets us like she always does. (There is cat hair everywhere) I feel happy and content. I would like to reach my arms around this imperfect, somewhat cluttered, memory infested, “used to the fullest” home and say, “Hello Dearest.” You know you are so loved. All of our homes are so loved. I am the richest person in the world. I have been able to live with people I love inside of homes that I love. We fill them with life and time and laughter, and tears, and priceless, perhaps useless things we collectively love, and memories that continue to flow, that we all…love. Home makes my heart smile the biggest smile. Home is my passion and I am most content there.
It is the love and the people and life that wedge inside the walls, and permeate the air, and fill up the roof. I walk inside and feel all of that love collected in every single nook and cranny. And think, wow, I am so glad to be home.